'Kung Fu Panda 2' to Open Taormina Film Festival

DreamWorks Animation

The Italian premiere of the film, featuring a voice cast led by Jack Black and Angelina Jolie, continues the festival's trend of launching high-profile projects.

ROME – The Taormina Film Festival announced Friday that the animated film Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D will be the opening film at this year’s edition of the 57-year-old event.

The Italian premiere of the film -- directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and including the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen -- continues Taormina’s trend of serving as a launching pad for high-profile films. In 2010, the Sicily festival premiered with Toy Story 3 in 3D, and previous editions have hosted Transformers and Mission Impossible II.

As with the other blockbusters to appear in Taormina, Kung Fu Panda 2 will screen in the festival’s centerpiece venue, the ancient and picturesque Teatro Antico.

This year’s edition of the festival runs June 11-18.

Taormina’s artistic director is Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter’s chief international critic.